Skip to main content

8-year-old takes younger passengers on highway joyride in St. Paul; all are OK

  • Author:
  • Updated:

An 8-year-old boy took two younger passengers for a drive on a series of St. Paul highways – including Interstate 35E – in a journey a State Patrol spokeswoman describes as "incredible" and "bizarre."

Lt. Tiffani Nielsen tells MPR News the boy drove his foster family's '92 Buick Roadmaster for more than 10 miles, navigating a construction zone and changing highways more than once.

Nielsen tells MPR the bizarre situation ended with the best possible outcome Tuesday when the boy pulled the Buick into a Mounds View driveway he'd apparently selected at random, just as a trooper reached the children.

Nielsen tells FOX 9 several callers reported the vehicle swerving on I-35E just before 6 a.m.

FOX spoke with a witness who said he first thought the driver was drunk, until he pulled alongside the car and was shocked to see a boy who could barely see over the steering wheel.

The foster family had reported the missing children – a 5-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy, as well as the driver.

Nielsen tells FOX it's incredible that no one was injured and wonders: "How can an 8-year-old physically control a vehicle – reach the pedals, see over the dash?"

This embed is invalid

MPR says the State Patrol turned the case over to Ramsey County Child Protection Services, which will investigate how the children were able to make their getaway from their foster family.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-10-04 at 3.03.13 PM

Revival to close its original Minneapolis restaurant

Don't worry – it's bringing the chicken to its nearby BBQ joint.


Fatal crash under investigation on Hwy 62 in Mendota Heights

The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating the crash near Dodd Road.

Pixabay bike wheel

Driver strikes 5 bicyclists near Mapleton

The Sheriff's Office has indicated that those injured were children.

Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 3.13.52 PM

The former Bachelor Farmer space is sold in Minneapolis

A new restaurant is expected to open next year.

flooding on Interstate 90

Supercharged atmosphere causing more mega-rain events

There could be a mega-rain event Saturday-Sunday in Minnesota, Wisconsin and/or Iowa.


Massive Burnsville landfill expansion nears final approvals

The City of Burnsville and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency are accepting public feedback on the proposal.

Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 2.35.39 PM

Kyle Rittenhouse attorney to defend accused Apple River killer Nicolae Miu

The attorney who helped Kyle Rittenhouse be acquitted of all charges is defending the alleged Apple River mass stabber.

Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 7.55.41 AM

Minneapolis police trying to ID pair in connection to fatal shooting

Police say the two people pictured are connected to the fatal shooting of Ivan Redday last month.


17-year-old girl killed in southern Minnesota crash

The crash happened early Thursday morning near Lake Crystal.

Tim Gannon

Ex-Brooklyn Center police chief sues city over resignation

Tim Gannon alleges he was forced to resign following the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright.

boat, boating, lake

Men injured after boat crash sends propeller spinning onto craft

The motor reportedly flew out of the water and severely injured two men on the boat.